You know what’s fun? Putting together puzzles! Lets do that now.
Puzzle Piece #1: Marvel Summit “Leaks”
Over on Bleeding Cool (of course) after the Marvel Summit, we had the rumor that a big Avengers vs Ultimates mini was coming that would hail the end of the Ultimate Universe. It wouldn’t be particularly surprising if the Ultimate line ended; it has been a shadow of itself for better or worse for some time, with “Ultimate Spider-Man” being the only rock in a rough storm.
If Marvel did something to end it, I doubt many people would be shocked (although losing Miles would probably cause some ruckus. I know I’d complain.)
Puzzle Piece #2: Sam Humphries Leaves “Ultimates,” Fialkov Disassembles – With the latest “Ultimate” launch, Jonathan Hickman was at the helm of the series and he tore the world apart. Sam Humphries co-wrote the book with him for a bit before taking over, leading to the dismantling of the Ultimate United States of America even further. Humphries’ run then ended with this month’s #24, and Josh Fialkov takes over next month with issue #25.
Fialkov’s first order of business? “Ultimate Avengers: Disassembled.” Hulk gets the Infinity Gauntlet. Bad things happen.
Given the amount of Thanos-pushing that Marvel is doing with “Infinity” and “Thanos Rising”, it seems miiiiiighty convenient that his main toy of choice happens to finally form in the Ultimate U, even if a) Thanos has appeared before in “Ultimate Fantastic Four” and b) Humphries was seeding the gems into the book for a while. But, to be fair, Humphries “Ultimates” at times seemed like a reflection of the popularity of Avengers, and that the Avengers ostensibly had the mind gem in the movie it’s not a big surprise that the Ultimate U would head in that direction as the inspiration for a lot of the action of that movie (Jackson’s Fury, Chitauri, etc).
Puzzle Piece #3: “Age of Ultron”, Angela and Multiple Realities – While “Age of Ultron” is raging on, we’ve seen that our heroes have ended up in a distorted version of their reality based on changing the past. While we don’t know the ending fully, we do know one thing: Angela shows up — and that, for all intents and purposes, seems a grand impossibility of “Marvel Universe/Continuity Logic” (all in quotes because, well, come on).
Of course, Angela is a character from “Spawn” and not actually a resident of the Marvel 616 by any means, so something has to happen to get her into the Marvel U — say, some kind of breakdown of walls that keep universes apart. And if one universal wall can breakdown, especially in terms of a wall separating two universes that have NEVER touched before, certainly another wall of universes that HAVE touched before could equally breakdown.
And, hey, didn’t we totally say that it looked like “Age of Ultron” was bringing some kind of Ultimate clash back in February, in the same general time period of Bleeding Cool’s Avengers v Ultimates rumor? Hey, we did! We were wrong about who that Wolverine was, but I’d wager we’re still on the right path.
Puzzle Piece #4: HUNGER U.C. – Last but certainly not least, we have the mysterious “Hunger” tease. Originally solicited as “Age of Ultron #10 U.C.”, we assumed it was something Galactus related — but as this month’s solicits have revealed, this book is actually:
HUNGER #2 (of 4)
JOSHUA HALE FIALKOV (W) • LEONARD KIRK (A)
Cover by ADI GRANOV
• The fallout from AGE OF ULTRON rips open a dangerous rift in the universe!
• Prepare for a hunger so strong, that no universe is safe.
• Is this the beginning of the end?
• All the details will be revealed when Age of Ultron #10 hits stands everywhere!
• PREVIOUSLY SOLICITED UNDER THE CLASSIFIED NAME OF AGE OF ULTRON #10 UC
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
And look at that. The writer of “Ultimates” is writing “Hunger,” a 4-issue mini whose solicit is tucked away nice and neat next to the three other Ultimate minis. And, hey, doesn’t Marvel have a history of publishing three “Ultimate” ongoings and one “Ultimate” 4-issue mini? They do?
And, just for posterity, do you think that “Age of Ultron #10 U.C.” could stand for “Age of Ultron #10 Epilogue Set In The Ultimate Comics Universe”? You do?
Update: User muddi900 points out that this could be related to Hunger, a character created by Jim Starlin who first appeared in “Thanos” (which Marvel is collecting soon), a reality devouring monster. Given the relationship to Thanos and the reality devouring bit, this seems like a completely logical addition to our puzzle.
Here’s the guess for the completed puzzle:
- “Age of Ultron” breaks down some kind of universal wall between the 616 and the Ultimate world
- The Avengers and the Ultimates clash
- Something about the 616 Galactus probably wanting to eat the Ultimate Universe (as opposed the the Gah Lak Tus Swarm thing) to fit the “Hunger” stuff, because Marvel loves cosmic right now and/or something about the return of Hunger from Starlin’s “Thanos”
- Maybe something about Angela too, because why not?
- Marvel is able to destroy/rebuild the Ultimate Universe a bit
All of which results in all new #1s coming your way later this year/early next year for Ultimate Universe v4.0! Ultimate Marvel NOW!
Who wants to take that bet?